Nov 3, 2009

Hot, spicy intimacy

Spent a whole day Doing Stuff, checking off the Things-to-Do list, cleaning the office, answering emails, etc etc. To be honest, I can't really remember what filled my day. Looking back on it, the only thing that felt real was planting garlic with my boys.

I've taken to leaving the splitter at the top of the driveway, so that every day I can leave the computer and the kitchen to go outside and work up a sweat, do something tangible. Each piece of wood crashing to the ground affirms me, the reality of this existence. I don't go to the office to have money deposited in my account that then gets transferred to the electric or gas company to heat my house. I chop wood to heat my house.

By the time it makes it to the fire, that piece of wood has been in my hands over 8 times. I chopped down the tree, then "bucked it up" (removed branches, chainsawed into lengths), then used my fancy new splitting wedge to split the huge round in 2, then the splitting ax into pieces, then thrown it in the wheelbarrow, then unloaded into the woodshed to dry for a few months, then carried in an armful up to the fireside box, then finally selected it to place in the fire.

I'm not in any way putting down the work I did with ACCES - the results of that work for our partners in Africa was real and important, and the salary did mean security for my family. It's just that these days I've learned to appreciate a personal connection, an intimacy, with the things I used to only touch with my credit card. Things that matter at the most basic level to my family and, at a grander level, to the world we're a part of. Real things like garlic and heat.

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